Finals week is rapidly approaching, and before we can properly prepare, it will be upon us! So here is a helpful collection of food, study tips, and other miscellaneous information to prepare you for the intense weeks ahead!
The Food Essentials
There are some foods that you just need during finals week. Just like you need hot dogs at a baseball game or cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory, you need these foods to survive finals week (or at least I do!)
- Ice cream – Sometimes after a few hours of intense studying and over-heating your thinker, all you really want is a nice bowl of ice cream to freeze up your brain and increase your happiness levels.
- Blueberries – I’ve read that eating blueberries can help improve short term memory…which is really nice for all of those tests that you’re cramming…er I mean preparing for! Plus blueberries are just plain delicious.
- Almonds/Peanuts/any kind of nuts – I love eating almonds when I study, because their crunchiness keeps me awake, and the vitamin E in them are great for the brain as well! Any kind of nuts will do the trick.
- Dark Chocolate – Yes, chocolate is, in fact, good for you! Dark chocolate can increase the blood flow to your brain, making you more awake and active in your studying.
I am by no means an expert on the most effective study habits, but what I am is a tried-and-true college student who has gone through finals week three times now. These are some of the habits that have helped me out before during previous study-sessions:
- 50/10 Rule – Study for 50 minutes, then take a break for 10. This really helps keep productivity high! 50 minutes is not an unbearable amount of time to be focused, and by taking time to let your brain breathe and your body relax for 10 minutes, you can jump right back into studies feeling refreshed. Sometimes 10-minute snack breaks are great, as are 10-minute dance parties, walks, hula-hooping contests, showers and coloring sessions!
- Switch Up Locations – Yes, everyone has their usual study space. Whether that’s a bedroom, a certain spot in the library, or the perfect shady tree, getting into the habit of studying in one place can be beneficial throughout the school year; however, I’ve found it really helpful to go to different places when studying for big tests. I love going to public places, like coffee shops or academic buildings I’m not super familiar with. Not only does this keep me focused (I don’t want all of the people in these places to think I’m a slacker if they see me on social media or something like that) but it’s also good way to stimulate your brain with a new location! Plus you can try a new coffee or find a new spot to study more often!
- Enough. Sleep. SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP. Seriously, did I mention sleeping? It does you no good to stay up all night studying for an exam if you’re too exhausted to take it in the morning! Getting 7-10 hours of sleep helps keep your body and your brain healthy, which is essential for finals week.
- Work hard, but play, too! Finals week is stressful. Don’t make it worse by locking yourself in your room and making it miserable, as well. I love meeting up with friends during this week for coffee, donuts, dinner, or just nice quality time! Getting out of the study zone every now and then is important!
- Don’t freak yourself out—Yes, sometimes finals loom over your head as a make-or-break for your grade. But don’t forget to keep the big picture in mind. Will this grade really matter in a year? What about five years? If you don’t get the grade, it’ll be okay. Study hard, but don’t freak out.
As weird and ironic as this sounds, enjoy this time. Isn’t it funny that everyone around you is going through this same experience of finals? Take some time to appreciate the fact that you’re a part of something awesome, you’re getting an education, and these tests are signs that you’re learning things! Just think, a semester ago, you wouldn’t have known nearly as much as you do now! Cheers to that!